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tv   Nightline  ABC  April 4, 2011 11:35pm-12:00am EDT

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tonight on "nightline," scary skies. is it safe to fly? new holes, new outrage and new excuses. the shocking truth about the shortcomings of inspections. and aircraft too dangerous to fly. and ivy gate. a seismic sexism scandal at one of america's most elite university. what's driving these women to claim they were subjected to abusive taunts all over campus? plus, chill after drinking. they're the anti-energy drinks. a can full of mellow embraced by the stars of hip-hop. but is anybody regulating their
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ingredie ingredients? relaxation drinks are tonight's "sign of the times." p good evening, i'm cynthia mcfadden. hundreds of flights have now been canceled and thousands of passengers stranded, following a harrowing tear in a plane's fuselage which ended with an emergency landing friday night. tonight, airline mechanics are scouring dozens of other planes looking for more cracks. the airlines say they did not know this sort of strain was even a problem. what else don't they know? lisa stark bring us this important investigation. >> reporter: airlines worldwide are beginning emergency inspections of 175 boeing 737s. 80 of them in the u.s. most flown by southwest. that airline has already looked at more than 60 of its planes.
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it has found cracks in the fuselage on three of its jets. all of this to prevent another southwest flight 812. >> on a scale of 1 to 10, about 25. i've never been that scared in my life. >> reporter: in phoenix, at about 3:45 friday afternoon, the 737 carrying 118 passengers departed for sacramento. just 18 minutes into the flight, as the jet was climbing through 34,000 feet, what sounded like an explosion. >> it was scary. i was one row from where the plane blew out and, you know, we all had that moment, we thought we were -- weren't sure what was going to happen. >> it sounded like a big tire popping and the pressure in the cabin was so -- it was just hard to describe. >> reporter: a five foot section of the fuselage ripped apart on the top of the jet. passengers could see the open sky. and at 34,000 feet, temperatures can be as low as minus 60
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degrees. >> i was in the very front of the plane so i felt the plane lurch, there was a loud think, it depressurized, the oxygen masks cam down. >> reporter: oxygen masks deployed as the cabin depressurized. the pilots immediately radioed air traffic control, declaring an emergency, and then turned sharply to the right. the plane diving 23,000 feet in under five minutes. >> almost passed out. your ears instantly start to hurt really bad. you feel like you're going to black out. you get really dizzy. once you get the oxygen mask on, it takes, i don't know, two or three minutes before i felt fairly normal again. >> reporter: pilots continued the rapid and controlled descent to 11,000 feet where passengers could breathe on their own. >> the pilot seems calm. he says we're going to, you know, he's going to tell us something. there's no turbulence. it's just this air in the back. but still feeling like the oxygen masks and everybody
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around me is tense. i'm holding the stranger's hand. i wondered. i prayed a lot. >> we could see daylight out of the plane. i go, this is -- you always think of people getting sucked out of airplanes when there's a hole in it. i was really -- it was really scary. >> reporter: scary not just for the passengers but for everyone in the flight safety world. after the top was ripped off an aloha airlines plane more than 20 years ago, inspections were beefed up and many thought safety questions about stresses on older airplanes had been answered. >> that -- even though we've been dealing with these sort of problems pretty effectively since 1998, that we may be have something new on our hands here. something that requires day of rent type of inspection or different system of inspections and that's pretty remarkable. >> reporter: each takeoff and landing stresses the metal. on the southwest jet, only visual inspections were required in the area that failed. that's why cracks in the
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fuselage, found by ntsb investigators, were never discovered earlier. >> all required aircraft inspections were up to date and no discrepancies were found. there were no outstanding maintenance items at the time of the accident. all air worth niness directives were complied with and were up to date. >> reporter: because those earlier inspections found nothing, it's calling into question the nation's entire system for inspecting older aircraft. >> i think this could really move the bar up a bit. we may have to change when we start inspecting these aircraft. we did not expect to see this type of failure occur in an aircraft this young. >> reporter: could this have really caused the plane to crash, this crack? >> anytime a cabin opens up in a passenger airline at 36,000 feet, it's bad and it's
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potentially catastrophic. this had a happy ending. the indents in the past have had happy endings. at some point you can get to the point where there's structural failure on the aircraft because the skin on the aircraft is part of that structural foundation of the aircraft. >> reporter: the large section that failed? on tuesday, investigators will begin a microscopic examination of the metal as they try to piece together what happened. for "nightline," i'm lisa stark, in baltimore. >> lisa has been on this story since it broke late friday night and we will stay on it as the investigation continues. when we return, the stomach-churning sexist comments male students made to women at yale. people have all kinds of retirement questions. no problem. td ameritrade has all kinds of answers. call us for quick help opening your new ira. or an in-depth talk with a retirement expert. like me. stop by my branch for a free retirement check-up.
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we turn now to education and the women at yale university who have filed a lawsuit claiming sexism is so vile and so rampant on campus they simply cannot get a fair education. now, federal authorities are investigating whether the ivy league school indeed has a hostile sexual environment. there is a lot at stake. including $500 million in federal funds. as linsey davis reports. >> hold on. we're ranking girls. >> reporter: it is a memorable scene in the movie "the social network." >> you mean other students? >> reporter: before mark zuckerberg launched facebook, he created something called facemash. >> the first thing we're going to need is a lot of pictures. >> reporter: it used photos of harvard girls, then asked users to choose the hotter person. now yale is under fire for creating its own version.
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on the 40th anniversary of women entering yale, a notorious e-mail greeted the freshmen class. it's called the preseason scouting report. it was circulated among fraternities and included names of freshmen finales who men rated on a beer scale from, i would have sex with you sober to i would only have sex with you blackout drunk. >> i think it was briefly available on a website, which means that many of these girls walking around campus today, most people first saw them in terms of how many beers you'd have to drink to sleep with them. >> reporter: the e-mail included personal information and details like basketball player, so she could be tall but who doesn't appreciate some long legs. and was seen partying at high school toga party. she did look excellent. reference photo 9 of 319. at the end of the day, she will probably play lacrosse here and we all know what that means. >> i have a friend who thought about transferring schools after this because this was her introduction to yale. she'd gone through high school as a star student and all of a sudden was introduced to yale as
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someone who was worth five beers. >> reporter: alexandra braski is a junior and one of the 12 women and 4 men who filed a title 9 complaint against the storied ivy league institution. >> the three men who have been guilty of sexual assault over the last couple years, two were put on probation and one was suspended for a semester. >> reporter: the complaint alleges the school has had an inadequate response to what's described as a hostile sexual environment and has violated title 9 requirements to provide equal opportunity to both men and women. the students say it's because of all kinds of public incidents of sexual misconduct like these signs posted around campus and vulgar fraternity chants like this captured on nighttime video. >> no means yes. yes means no. yes means -- >> do these women feel safe? do they feel like they can take advantage of the educational opportunities on their campus?
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according to the complaintant, the answer is no. >> reporter: while we were in the middle of interviewing this freshman -- we were interrupted by a male student shouting, this is a penis situation. alexander recounted several other very public examples of what she described as sexual misconduct on yale's campus. >> we have an event every year that takes place at a lot of campuses called take back the night where women who have been victims of sexual assault are encouraged to share their stories. part of this is making t-shirts that make some sort of public statement about their experience which are put up on a clothesline so students are forced to deal with this real till. a group of fraternity brothers stole the shirts and wore them around campus as a joke. >> reporter: in an e-mail to abc news, the university said, we assure members of the community and those beyond our community that yale does not tolerate sexual harassment or misconduct. >> i think that the language is strong. but i have not seen the actions
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that would support that language. >> reporter: yale junior joseph breen, one of the four male comb plattant, said he was most appalled by the personal testimony. >> i have been able to read through and i was able to edit the complaint as well. and so i am sort of privy to a lot of the personal testimony that will remain private for obvious reasons. and those are really shocking to me. those were what really got me on board. i also have a friend who has filed a complaint with the university about rape and was told to essentially keep it quiet, don't bring this to the executive committee. do not speak about this with your friends. >> reporter: based on reports from 2007 to 2010, far more students at yale have been reprimanded in a serious manner for cheating. 24 suspended. 36 put on probation. while four students received reprimands after reports of sexual harassment, assault and
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rape. >> the inequality there is very striking. that we have expelled students for plagiarism but not for instances of rape. >> reporter: male students we talked to today were eager to express concern about several instances on campus, including the prescouting report e-mail. so by a show of hands, how many of you had seen that e-mail, the scouting report, or something like it? all of you? >> i received it from other sources. it was circulating so widely that, you know, it wasn't just constrained to the people who the e-mail was actually, you know, those people who were actually privy to the original e-mail thread. everyone was hearing about it through, you know, word of mouth. >> reporter: the office of civil rights will spend the next month interviewing on campus to determine in yale is in compliance with title 9 requirements. if their probe finds they are not and yale fails to fix the problem, the university could stand to lose more than $500 million in federal funding. for "nightline," i'm linsey
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davis in new haven, connecticut. that group of yale men had lots more to say. "world news tonight" with diane sawyer will have it all tomorrow. it's featured in a video by the pussycat dolls and has been called weed in a can. it's legal but is it safe? ֖֖֖֖֖֖֖֖֖֖֖֖֖֖֖֖ with the rising price of fuel, guess which way shipping costs are going? the u.s postal service has no fuel surcharges. combine that with low online pricing... and your shipping costs... ..could head in a whole new direction. it's time to rethink your shipping. [music playing] confidence available in color.
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they're billed as relaxation drinks, a quick way to come down after a stressful day. the opposite of energy drinks. they're legal. they're unregulated. they're flying off the shelves. for jeremy hubbard, they are a "sign of the times." >> reporter: the hip-hop music video formula, catchy hooks -- check. sexy dancing -- check. and anti-energy drinks? in a world of fast, sometimes it's hard to keep up. perhaps an energy drink is in order. mm. for years, we've been swigging this stuff. packed with sugar and caffeine. helps us get through the hustled an bustle of our everykday live. you can't keep going like this. you simply have to slow down. woo. well, now there's a drink for that too. several of them actually.
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they call them anti-energy drinks. liquid relaxation in a can. for those times you want to slow down. take it easy. unwind. relax. >> i just saw everything going to an extreme. i saw americans getting more stressed out. i saw economic times, people being more and more stressed. >> reporter: peter is the self-described father of the anti-energy drink movement that includes brands like unwind, dream water and bulldozer. drawing on his past experience as a professional studio musician, he developed a purple potion he says helps people chill out. so you came up with drank? what is it? >> drank is an all-natural relaxation beverage. at the end of the day you're not turning around and grabbing for that medicine cabinet or bottle of liquor. >> reporter: he uses his music industry connections to sell drank. ♪ with product placements in popular music videos. an attempt to channel the slow
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your roll mentality of the hip-hop culture. somebody called it weed in a can. >> it's designed to be a positive alternative for people turning to that or alcohol. >> reporter: a legal version of that. >> a legal version, yes. >> reporter: same result. >> right. >> reporter: legal, sure. but -- >> i've always had a bit of a concern about any of these products because their contents are unregulated. and the combinations of products that are put into them have not been tested. there's very little that we do to relax people that doesn't also sedate them. >> reporter: and, remember, even when trying to relax, safety comes first. >> if you're going to test out one of these products, i would say it should be done somewhere far away from an automobile. >> reporter: the anti-energy drink market is anything but relaxed, with peter and his investors expecting to drink in $5 billion in sales in the next three years. >> we're in times square.
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the center of the universe. do you see one smiling face here in times square? do you see anybody excited, happy, they're at the crossroads of the world? >> reporter: no, don't, actually. >> neither do i. it's showing you people are stressed out in their life. they need to take a little time out and take a break. >> reporter: you're a good salesman. you make me want to buy a case. he also sees his legacy through purple-colored glasses. >> my claim to fame is relaxing the world. it's not that bad. >> reporter: and i'll drink to that. i'm jeremy hubbard for "nightline." in new york. >> if you work the late shift, doesn't sound so bad. finally tonight, a series of severe thunderstorms are wreaking havoc across the south. louisiana and mississippi are bracing for tornadoes as high winds down power lines throughout the region. "good morning america" will have much more on this thousand-mile swath of violent weather in the


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